Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Corrects Most Blatant Error in Op-Ed by ACORN Consultant, But Leaves Others Uncorrected

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:34 pm

Responding to my complaints about a recent misleading op-ed about ACORN by Peter Dreier, the L.A. Times today printed the following correction:

ACORN: An Oct. 22 Op-Ed article about the community group ACORN stated that, in two ACORN offices, staff members offered advice to a pair of videographers posing as proprietors of a prostitution ring. While tapes of all the offices visited by the pair have not been released, it is clear from those that have been that ACORN offered advice in more than two offices. The article also said that the pair were “kicked out” of most ACORN offices. Because unedited versions of the tapes have not been released, it is unclear how the encounters ended, but it is unlikely they were ordered to leave most offices.

Just one problem: those weren’t the only issues I raised. I also pointed out another error by Dreier, who falsely stated that “not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted. What occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud, and it was ACORN that exposed the wrongdoing in the first place.”

As I noted in my post, the American Spector said otherwise, writing that “Darnell Nash of Cleveland, Ohio, was registered to vote by ACORN nine times for last year’s election. Nash cast a fraudulent ballot and was convicted of vote fraud and voter registration fraud.” According to every source I can find to address the topic, Nash actually voted in the election after being fraudulently registered by ACORN, only to have his fraudulent vote discovered after the fact. I have collected several consistent sources on this topic here. Also, as the link makes clear, Nash’s voter fraud was exposed, not by ACORN, but by a citizen whose address Nash claimed when Nash cast a fraudulent ballot.

Nor does the paper explain why Dreier’s acknowledged consulting work for ACORN was not disclosed.

I wrote Nick Goldberg and asked him to explain these omissions from the correction. Goldberg declined to do so for the record, and allowed me to publish only this statement:

If we run something inaccurate or misleading in the paper, our policy is to publish a clarification. There were a number of heated charges about mistakes in Peter Dreier’s article. We looked into all of them, tried to figure out who was right and who was wrong, and ran a clarification in today’s paper that speaks for itself.

That’s not an adequate response. Neither the correction nor Goldberg’s statement does a damned thing to explain why the paper didn’t correct Dreier’s false claims that “not a single person who signed a phony name on a registration form ever actually voted” or that “[w]hat occurred was voter registration fraud, not voter fraud.”

Nor do they explain why Dreier’s consulting work for ACORN wasn’t disclosed.

These are legitimate questions that deserve to be addressed. It’s a shame that Goldberg won’t do so.

Finally, while it’s an obvious point, it bears repeating: the one error that the paper did see fit to correct should never have seen the light of day. And at a paper that employed any conservatives as top editors, it wouldn’t have. Every conservative I know was aware that ACORN had provided advice to Giles and O’Keefe at more than two offices. The fact that nobody reviewing Dreier’s op-ed had any clue of that well-known fact shows how dismissive the editors are of the ACORN scandal specifically, and of conservative viewpoints generally.

UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Since this post was originally published, I have had a chance to look at the actual docket for Darnell Nash’s conviction, and it appears clear that, while he was charged with vote fraud, he was not convicted of vote fraud. Instead, he pled guilty to three counts of false registration. Here are the relevant screenshots:

Darnell Nash Charges 1

Darnell Nash Charges 2
Click to embiggen.

I have sent an e-mail to the author of the American Spectator article that erroneously reported that Nash was convicted of voter fraud, seeking a correction. I have received no response.

The interest of full accuracy demands that I publish this correction. It is nevertheless still quite clear to me that Nash voted illegally, whether he was convicted or not. Also, Dreier should have revealed his ACORN connections in the article, and botched facts familiar to every knowledgeable conservative I know.

The Biggest Loser (Updated)

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 7:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC’s Jake Tapper reveals the White House unintentionally hit on the perfect metaphor for tonight’s election results:

“It’s unclear which White House staffer thought it would be a good idea to have an NBC show called “The Biggest Loser” visit the White House in an episode that aired on what was shaping up to be a tough election night for President Obama and the Democratic party, but the contestants stopped by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday night as election returns came in.”

The show is about people trying to lose weight but, at least for tonight, the White House may be the biggest loser.


UPDATE: Absent a Truman-type miracle for Doug Hoffman, it appears the GOP won the Governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia (and may have swept the top 3 races in Virginia), but Hoffman lost in NY’s 23rd Congressional race.

NY 23 Election Results (Updated x4)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 7:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

With 2% of the votes counted, CNN reports Hoffman leads Owens in the 23rd Congressional District race, but the tally shows Owens in front. The Times-Union will also have election results here.

Meanwhile, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted the White House is interested in the results of this election — not because a conservative may win, but because they believe it’s bad news for Republicans:

“But Gibbs was willing to acknowledge that the White House has some interest in the special election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District seat.

“I do think there are interesting tidbits that we see coming out of New York 23,” he said.

Gibbs’ remarks were meant more as a warning to the Republican Party than Democrats, however.

In that race, Republican Party candidate Dede Scozzafava was effectively forced out of the race by the surging candidacy of third-party conservative Doug Hoffman — whose campaign was buoyed by endorsements from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, other prominent conservatives and grassroots activists. Gibbs picked up on the narrative Tuesday that this scenario could repeat itself in other districts in 2010, spelling trouble for other moderate Republicans.

“I think there are a host of primaries that will affect 2010 next year that pit moderate Republican candidates and conservative Republican candidates,” Gibbs said. “I think many in the Republican Party hung out a sign … that moderates need not apply.

“I do think that has ramifications for next year,” he added.”

However, Gibbs declined to address reports that White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard intervened to convince Scozzafava to endorse the Democrat, Owens.


UPDATE: Newzjunky’s unofficial results show Owens with a significant lead.

UPDATE 2: Watertown NY Mayor, a Hoffman supporter, says Hoffman lost and “It’s over.”

UPDATE 3: The Observer agrees it’s over for Hoffman but reports the final tally won’t be available for awhile:

“In the end, the weight of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts was enough. No official concession is expected; with over 10,000 paper ballots locked up under court order, the election will not be officially called for quite some time.”

UPDATE 4: Apart from the fact there are still a lot of uncounted ballots, R S McCain says another reason this race may not be over is the uncounted ballots include military ballots. (NY 23 includes Fort Drum.)

However, NBC and Fox News have projected Owens the winner and McCain updates Hoffman is expected to concede.

2009 New Jersey Governor’s Race (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Republican candidate Chris Christie has taken an early lead over incumbent Governor Jon Corzine in the New Jersey Governor’s race, but reports suggest this race won’t be decided until tomorrow or later.

The New York Times is updating the New Jersey vote here.


UPDATE: AP calls it for Christie as does ABC. CBS, Fox News, and CNN headlines also show Christie the winner.

Virginia Election 2009

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 5:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The polls closed in Virginia about an hour ago and early results show Republicans taking the lead in the races for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General:

“Republican Bob McDonnell held an early lead in the race to become the 71st governor of Virginia today.

First Virginia Board of Elections results showed McDonnell leading Democrat R. Creigh Deeds by a wide margin.

In most recent polls McDonnell was favored to win by a landslide.

His Republican running mates, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, seeking re-election, and Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli, also are leading in early returns over their Democratic opponents: Jody Wagner for lieutenant governor and Stephen C. Shannon for attorney general.”

CNN is updating the returns in the Virginia Governor’s race here.

McDonnell and Deed have run against each other before — 4 years ago when McDonnell defeated Deeds for attorney general by a mere 360 votes. Unlike 4 years ago, this race is projected as an easy GOP win so it’s a good thing President Obama and his staff aren’t planning to watch tonight’s election returns.


UPDATE: AP, NBC, CBS, and Fox News call the Governor’s race for McDonnell at 9:10 PM EST. ABC and CNN have banner headlines with same result.

Community organizing as foreign policy?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 3:01 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson invokes a metaphor as apt as it is pathetic:

President Obama is applying the same tools to international diplomacy that he once used as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, constructing appeals to shared interests and attempting to bring the government’s conduct in line with its ideals.

Obama’s approach to the world as a community of nations, more alike than different in outlook and interest, has elevated America’s standing abroad and won him the Nobel Peace Prize. But on the farthest-reaching U.S. foreign policy challenges, he is struggling to translate his own popularity into American influence, even with allies that have celebrated his break from the Bush administration’s emphasis on military strength, unilateral action and personal chemistry.

Much of the article is then devoted to cataloging the growing list of failures of Obama’s foreign policy. The president dithers over troop levels in Afghanistan, which is fresh off an election debacle that undermines the legitimacy of the government. Our NATO allies have balked at his requests for more troops. His dithering over Iran’s nuclear ambitions annoys everyone from France to the US Congress (so much so that Obama may have to go the unilateral cowboy route himself). His stimulus-based proposal for addressing the global financial crisis was rejected by France and Germany. He double-crossed the Polish and Czech governments on missile defense to appease Russia, with nothing to show for it. He has been soft on Chinese human rights abuses but — as with Russia — has gained no cooperation on Iran. Indeed, Obama’s flip-flop on the genocide in Darfur may also have been designed to gain favor with Russia and China (who have oil interests in the Sudan), again to no avail. He has made no more progress on the not-so-cold-war between Israel and Palestinian Authority than his predecessor, despite trying to lean on our democratic ally. China, India and Canada are resisting Obama’s global warmist agenda. Etc.

Wilson was good enough to remind his readers that “[a]s a community organizer, Obama worked to identify the common interests of neighborhoods suffering through the economic aftermath of plant closings and of the politicians elected to represent them.” Wilson failed to remind his readers that Obama was an abject failure in that project:

The long-term goal was to retrain workers in order to restore manufacturing jobs in the area; Kellman took Obama by the rusted-out, closed-down Wisconsin Steel plant for a firsthand look. But the whole thing was a bit of a pipe dream, as the leaders soon discovered. “The idea was to interview these people and look at education, transferable skills, so that we could refer them to other industries,” Loretta Augustine-Herron told me as we drove by the site of the old factory, now completely torn down. “Well, they had no transferable skills. I remember interviewing one man who ran a steel-straightening machine. It straightened steel bars or something. I said, well, what did you do? And he told me he pushed a button, and the rods came in, and he pushed a button and it straightened them, and he pushed a button and it sent them somewhere else. That’s all he did. And he made big bucks doing it.”

That, of course, was one of the reasons the steel mill closed. And it became clear that neither Obama nor Kellman nor anyone else was going to change the direction of the steel industry and its unions in the United States. Somewhere along the line, everyone realized that those jobs wouldn’t be coming back.

From there, Obama went on to organizing Altgeld Gardens, where he took too much credit for too little accomplishment.

Had Wilson reminded people of that history, his portrait of Obama’s ineffectual foreign policy would have made more sense to his readership. As an organizer, he undertook projects with unrealistic goals, with little understanding of the people he was opposing or the people he was trying to help. He was so ineffectual that he got out of the community organizing racket and into electoral politics. He apparently learned nothing from his past failures, and is dooming us to repeat them.


Obama’s Phony “Created or Saved” Numbers

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:54 am

When Obama says the stimulus “created or saved” x number of jobs, you already know that’s a bogus claim. It’s just common sense. But now, Bill Bush at the Columbus Dispatch has the hard proof. Marvel as he explains “the fuzzy math involved in pinpointing a saved-jobs number”:

The Obama administration announced Friday that federal stimulus money had created or saved about 7,200 education jobs in Ohio as of Sept. 30.

Although a couple of hundred of those jobs were in Columbus City Schools, the district acknowledged yesterday that many of the “saved” jobs definitely wouldn’t have been lost in the first place, and others might not have been lost at all.

How did this happen? Apparently, the Obama administration (though its proxy, the Ohio Department of Education) gave the district a choice when it came to reporting on jobs that were neither created nor saved. School district officials could say the jobs had been “created.” Or, they could that they were “saved”:

Of the 212.5 full-time equivalent jobs the district said were funded with part of the $64 million in stimulus it expects to receive, about 65 percent were “saved,” including 36 principals and assistant principals.

So was the district on the verge of laying off 36 school administrators?

“No,” Dannemiller said, explaining that the reporting choices were “created” and “saved.”

“They weren’t ‘created,’ obviously, so our only other choice was ‘saved.’ “

So. Is Obama a liar? Or a huge liar?

Thanks to Bradley J. Fikes.

P.S. Will some enterprising journalist investigate whether this happened in other states?

Law Professor Needs to Take Class on How to File a Valid Legal Complaint

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 am

Law professor is arrested for allegedly soliciting prostitute. Blogger mocks law professor. Law professor sues blogger, raising several specious claims.

For example, his first claim is “False Light” — in a jurisdiction that has ruled:

Because we conclude that false light is largely duplicative of existing torts, but without the attendant protections of the First Amendment, we decline to recognize the tort….


Ben Sheffner has the details, and concludes: “[D. Marvin] Jones has asked for a total of $44 million, as well as an injunction ordering ATL to remove the offending content. He’ll be lucky if he escapes without an award of sanctions and attorneys’ fees.”

Greg Packer Punks Philly Columnist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:22 am

The latest guy to be suckered by Greg Packer is Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News:

Robinson was like a lot of Yankees fans who made the trip to Philadelphia for a chance to see their team close out their 27th World Series Championship. Tickets would be easier to get last night, they reasoned, than if the series continued in New York tomorrow.

Greg Packer, from Huntington, N.Y., paid $200 for a $125 seat in Section 302.

“That’s a bargain,” he said, “because if it goes to Game 6, tickets are going to be impossible.”

Ah, nothing’s impossible. You might have thought it would be impossible for Greg Packer to get himself quoted in Big Media any more, but you’d be wrong about that . . .

Previous Packer sightings compiled here.

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